Ireland, the land of Saints, Scholars and Drifters? In this little country we have a solid reputation of producing some major names in Drifting and motorsport in general. No matter what country or event you go to, you are sure to find an Irish person competing to be on the podium. The Irish Drifting Championship has been running for more than ten years now, and each year the sport and event evolves but this year for Round 1 it was something else. Fans and drivers endured the heavy rain each day at the Mondello race track, which Ireland is known to give. Throughout practice on Friday, and following through until mid-day on Sunday, the rain just didn’t stop. It’s not all bad though, as it created some challenging lines for the drivers and some incredible door to door action!
The talk of the weekend was an Australian driver Luke Fink, who had traveled across the world to compete in this years event (and also created a bit of a social media storm). Other acts to watch we Lluis Lopez from Spain and Ahmad Daham from UAE. Sadly, Luke Fink had a big accident during practice on Friday in the freshly built LowBrain, Nascar V8 powered PS13 with an Odyvia front. He came in just a little to hot into the first clipping point and had a problem with the rear suspension. In doing so it put the car nose first into the barrier at full speed totaling the car. It looked like an end to his weekend and the car for good, but the Irish drifting community being the way it is all got together and took the car back to one of their garages to rebuild the car overnight so he could compete against them. It was a daunting task but the guys pulled it off. Fink was back out on track the next day and ended up taking 4th position despite the front end not being aligned 100% from the crash the night before.
UAE driver, and the longest twin drift record holder, Ahmad Daham was driving one of Darren McNamara’s 240SX that has previously seated drivers like Matt Powers. Daham didn’t qualify as the car was suffering from power-steering issues all weekend, but he said hes contemplating on bringing his 800bhp Nissan S15 all the way from UAE to Ireland for Round 2! With Ireland putting out world class drivers they usually start young. This year the IDC had two competitors at the young age of 15 in the pro class, Tomas Kiely and Jack Shanahan. Both drivers might be young but they have the podiums to prove they are worthy of being in the pro class. Tomas went on to take 3rd place on the podium along side Nigel Colfer in 2nd and the notorious James Dean taking 1st.
The atmosphere throughout the entire weekend was something I’ve never felt in Mondello before. Even with the heavy rain and patches of sunshine spirits were high, fans walked around the paddock getting pictures and talking with their favorite drivers. These drivers were amazing and no matter what situation they are facing, always took a few minutes out to thank them for all their support. It’s reasons like this why I can see the Irish Drifting Championship becoming one of the most noted events in Europe.